George the snakeman.
George the snakeman.

Snake handler wanted for car rally

SOME would say it's a job that would suit a politician.

Certainly the successful applicant will need experience dealing with fast-moving snakes – but they should be also fearless in the face of speeding cars and angry protesters.

In an effort to shield wildlife from the onslaught of next year's Repco Rally, Homebush Motor Racing Authority is looking for a snake handler.

“We are open to someone local with snake expertise to help protect snakes from rally cars at the next event,” said Stephen Phillips, director of Bio-Link, a specialist in threatened species assessment and management and a consultant to the rally.

In 2009, the hazardous job was filled by a Queenslander, but rally organisers believe job opportunities should go to locals.

George Ellis, known around the Northern Rivers region as George the Snake Man, said spring and summer were a particularly hazardous time for snakes as they often headed to bitumen to warm their bodies.

The rally is scheduled for September 8 to 11.

Saving snakes isn't the only wildlife job opening for the 2011 rally.

People are also needed to sound compressed air sirens to warn away Albert's Lyrebirds from the road and to keep an eye on koalas sunbathing in trees close to the rally route.

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